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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

IN PRAISE OF POLKA MUSIC

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 17, 2018

BRYCE ON MUSIC

– It can hardly be called “depressing.”

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As I was growing up, I didn’t think too much of the polka, that festive music originating from Europe. I was exposed to it in Chicago where I lived for a few years. Even then I thought it was nothing more than a curiosity and not a serious form of music. More recently though, a polka show surfaced on WZIG-FM (104.1) here in Palm Harbor where my audio columns are played (click to STREAM). At first, I tuned in just to listen to something different as I drove around locally, but I quickly became a fan of it. Let me explain why.

First, the “Polka Happy Hour” is played on Wednesday’s from 5-6pm with “Wackie Jackie” as the host. Aside from the silly name, he is a polka aficionado who explains what the various songs mean and how they originated. He is a veritable encyclopedia of polka knowledge who obviously enjoys the music genre and turns it into an enjoyable hour of entertainment. Some people might say to me, “What, you listen to polka? Are you crazy?” Probably so, but I became attracted to it as it is lively fun, as opposed to the Rap rubbish on the radio.

It has been my observation polka music usually addresses one of three themes: a pretty girl, good food, or a good drink, all of which is sung as a lively and merry tune. After awhile, a lot of the polka music starts to sound the same, but it is the lyrics that make each song unique. The songs are meant for people to have fun, I don’t think there has ever been one produced intended to be sad or depressing. In fact, polka is one of those music genres that is impossible to sing anything other than festively. Death, taxes, shootings, illnesses, disease, politics, et al, have no place in polka music, and therein is why people enjoy it so. It is very “up,” definitely not “down.”

There is relatively few polkas well known by the general public, such as the Pennsylvania Polka, the Beer Barrel Polka, and She’s Too Fat Polka. As to this last one, people who are politically correct may be offended as it talks about a woman who is overweight. There are many others the PC police would be bothered by the message of the song. Those who enjoy polka though, know it is only done in jest and are not offended in the slightest way. As an aside, a personal favorite of mine is, “You Cannot Teach the Japanese to Polka.” I do not believe our friends from the land of the rising sun would object to this, and would likely agree with the premise. Like everyone else, they would laugh.

Polka is fast paced, fun, and frankly, a little frivolous. If you haven’t listened to it in a while, give it another try. I don’t believe you can wear a frown while listening to polka music. No doubt, there would be less stress in the world if there was more polka.

Keep the Faith!

P.S., Be sure to see my video, “The PRIDE Renewal Tour,” on YouTube.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

MUSIC IN THE WORKPLACE

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 24, 2015

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Using music to adjust the tempo and mood.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

“Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.”

– William Congreve, in “The Mourning Bride,” 1697

No, it’s not “beast,” it’s about how music affects the human soul. Recently, I left work one evening and my head was swimming. Frankly, I was in a foul mood. However, as I was driving home I happened to turn on WZIG 104.1 FM, a favorite of mine, right here in Palm Harbor, and happens to be commercial free. The station rightfully touts itself as “extreme variety,” playing an eclectic assortment of music. At this particular moment, they didn’t play Rock and Roll, Rap, or Country, but rather some classic Big Band music. I know quite a few songs from this era but not the one playing on the radio. It featured some excellent work on clarinet and trombone. More importantly, the melody was just the tonic to snap me out of my mood and I began to relax and enjoy the day. I could literally feel my disposition change and a headache I had earlier in the day magically disappeared.

This reminded me of the important roll music plays in the workplace. A study in 1972 found factory workers performed at a higher level when upbeat, happy tunes were played in the background. This paper is often cited when discussing the impact of music, even to this day. In today’s world though, office workers are more likely to be found plugged into their own personal music. God only knows what they’re listening to; I doubt if it’s Tschaichovsky or Beethoven. Managers should be paying more attention but I’m afraid they are not, as they are probably plugged in themselves and haven’t noticed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer of music in the workplace, but the volume and type of music is very important. Like it or not, music does affect our senses and concentration. As much as I like good, old-fashioned Rock and Roll, it is hardly the type of music I want played in the office. The same is true of Rap and Country. We may like such music personally, but I don’t think it is wise to play it in the office. Instead, jazz and “easy listening” stations are probably better choices, preferably instrumentals. The volume and tempo should not be too distracting. In fact, I don’t believe anyone really listens to “easy listening” music, and that is just the point. It’s nice to have something playing in the background without actually distracting us from our work. Offices get hectic enough and some calm music in the background can greatly relieve the tedium.

Any manager who allows workers to plug into their own music is asking for trouble. Basically, they are abdicating control over their environment. Take back control; outlaw the use of personal music, and tune in something more suitable for all of your workers.

Yes, music has charms to sooth a savage breast. It also is a smart way of controlling the tempo and mood of your workers.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – Copyrights, trade secrets, patents, trade marks, and other things that go bump in the night.

LAST TIME:  MARRIAGE: IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO  – Like the Tango, marriage can be a thing of beauty if you and your partner are in synch.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Management, Music | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

NONSENSE SONGS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 26, 2014

BRYCE ON MUSIC

– It is interesting what we remember.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Ever drive along in a car and suddenly an old tune comes to your lips, perhaps something from your childhood? Recently, I found myself blurting out, “Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!” Frankly, I couldn’t remember the name of the song, which I found rather irritating. This caused me to look it up through an Internet search engine. Remarkably, it was:

“Three Little Fishes” (click for Lyrics)
This was introduced by Kay Kysor and featured Ish Kabibble. The words and music were by Saxie Dowell and the song was a US No. 1 hit in 1939. Here’s a sample of the lyrics:

Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool
Swam three little fishies and a mama fishie too
“Swim” said the mama fishie, “Swim if you can”
And they swam and they swam all over the dam
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
And they swam and they swam all over the dam

I cannot explain why I recollect this song as it certainly wasn’t from my generation. Perhaps I remember it as a song from childhood. Whatever the reason, I found it remarkable I could recall it. Actually, there are a lot of old-time songs cluttering our minds. They’re not particularly complicated, in fact they are rather simple with a catchy tune. We may not remember all of the words for these nonsense songs, as I call them, but we readily recognize the chorus. Let me give you a couple of other examples.

“Polly Wolly Doodle” – (click for Lyrics)

Oh, I went down South
For to see my Sal
Sing Polly wolly doodle all the day
My Sal, she is
A spunky gal
Sing Polly wolly doodle all the day

Fare thee well,
Fare thee well,
Fare thee well my fairy fay
For I’m going to Lou’siana
For to see my Susy-anna
Singing Polly wolly doodle all the day

(Copyright http://elyrics.net; click for Lyrics)

The song was first published in a Harvard student songbook in 1880. It was used in several movies, including Shirley Temple’s “The Littlest Rebel,” as well as “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” This was another song I remember from childhood.

“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” (click for Lyrics)
This is an old American folk song first published in 1894.

I’ve been working on the railroad
All the live-long day.
I’ve been working on the railroad
Just to pass the time away.
Can’t you hear the whistle blowing,
Rise up so early in the morn;
Can’t you hear the captain shouting,
“Dinah, blow your horn!”
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow your horn?
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow your horn?

I don’t know how I came to learn the lyrics for the song, but I did. Maybe it was in kindergarten or on a children’s television show.

“Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay” (click for Lyrics)
The song originated in the 1880’s. Although everyone knows the chorus, “Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay,” I do not know a soul who knows the rest. Even the chorus was bastardized to make a childish joke.

“Buffalo Gals” (click for Lyrics)
This was published back in 1844 by a gentleman named John Hodges. The song was a favorite in western movies, particularly on pianos in saloons. It was also used in Frank Kapra’s iconic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where George (Jimmy Stewart) and Mary (Donna Reed) sing it as a duet. It was also used as the theme song for the movie. The chorus should be familiar to a lot of people:

Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight?
Come out tonight, Come out tonight?
Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight,
And dance by the light of the moon.

“Skip to my Lou” (click for Lyrics)
This song dates back at least to the early 19th century, maybe earlier. The song was used in early square dancing and may have originated in Scotland (“Lou” is Scottish for “Love”). “Skip” meant trade partners on the dance floor. The chorus was quite simple:

Skip, skip, skip to my Lou, (3x)
Skip to my Lou, my darlin’.

“Jimmy Crack Corn”
Originated in the 1840’s, probably in the South. Like the rest of the songs herein, we knew the chorus well, but not the rest of the piece.

Jim crack corn I don’t care,
Jim crack corn I don’t care,
Jim crack corn I don’t care,

When I looked this one up, I was surprised to see it was quite racist by today’s standards. So much so, I hesitate to include them herein (you can look it up yourself).

I find the durability of these songs interesting, even though we know them primarily by their chorus lines.

“Daisy Bell” (click for Lyrics)
A classic from the “Gay 90’s” was “Daisy Bell” as composed in 1892 by Harry Dacre. It was made particularly popular in the modern era movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” whereby the spaceship’s computer, the HAL 9000, attempts a mutiny and must be shutdown. As it fails, it reverts back to an old song it was taught by its instructor, “Daisy Bell.” The chorus is still familiar to a lot of people:

Daisy, Daisy,
Give me your answer do!
I’m half crazy,
All for the love of you!
It won’t be a stylish marriage,
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle made for two.

“Witch Doctor” (click for Lyrics)
Produced by David Seville and the Chipmunks in 1958, it became a kid classic over night, primarily due to its chorus of, “Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang.” The song did so well, it went on to become number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

“High Hopes” (click for Lyrics)
This became a popular Frank Sinatra song written by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn in 1959 for the film, “A Hole in the Head.”

Next time your found, with your chin on the ground
There a lot to be learned, so look around

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your gettin’ low
‘Stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

The song became incredibly popular not just with grownups, but with children as well.

None of these tunes were particularly complicated, just simple songs to brighten our day. These were not children’s rhymes but legitimate adult songs that were playful in nature. Their strength was in their catchy wordplay. More than anything, they were designed for simple fun, and not to make a statement of any kind. As such, they tend to stay with you longer than you think. The fact I was humming, “Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!” over fifty years after I learned it should denote its durability.

It’s interesting how we clutter our minds. Besides, they were all the “Bee’s Knees!”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHO HAS GOT YOUR BACK? – A lesson of loyalty in the workplace, and in life.

LAST TIME:  THE MEANING OF TRAITOR  – Another history lesson for our youth; Benedict Arnold and today’s terrorists.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Music | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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